In Which Jenn Picks Her Very Favorite Posts

What Tiggers like best

Hey guys! As of a couple weeks ago, this little blog (it’s called The Fairest Run Of All, but you can always glance up at the header if you forget again) turned eight years old. This isn’t as big a deal as the sort of anniversary that has a five on the end of it, but not bad, right? A good run so far.

We’ve racked up a heckuva lot of posts over the years, and I figured this would be as good a time as any to comb through the archives and put together a list of my top ten favorite posts so far. Like all such lists, it is not definitive, and doubtless posts would swap in and out depending on my mood if you asked me on another day. But for now, if you’re bored, here’s a great way to kill some time with some of my greatest hits! Assuming of course I am a good judge of my own work, which… is probably also hard to judge. We’ll all just have to trust me together.

As a note: I removed all trip reports and race recaps from consideration from this top ten list, lest the whole thing wind up composed exclusively of trip reports and race recaps. They are, of course, nicely collected in the aforementioned links, so get to clickin’ if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

If you’d prefer a standalone episode, as it were, try these:

  1. In Which Jenn Discusses The “Fine, Don’t Come” Mentality: How to deal with those WDW haters.

  2. In Which Jenn Is A Poor Disney Archivist: My vintage Figment t-shirt.

  3. In Which Jenn Is Obscene, If You Ask Disney IT (Assuming You Can Find Them): The infamous Pork Butt Magic Bands incident [bonus: the sequel].

  4. In Which Cinderella Castle Is A Swamp Castle: She’s got huge… tracts of land.

  5. In Which Jenn Runs On Assateague Island: For the love of God, stay away from the ponies!

  6. In Which Jenn Notes Something Odd About “Jolly Holiday”: Is that a chimney sweep in his pocket, or is Bert just happy to see you?

  7. In Which Jenn Selects Her Favorite WDW Bars: The landscape has changed in the subsequent years; maybe I should do a follow-up…?

  8. In Which runDisney Seems To Have Lost Its Unofficial Mascot: I thought Goonies never said die.

  9. In Which Jenn Pantsed A Mannequin For Running Tights: And I regret nothing.

  10. In Which The Babysitters Club Goes To Walt Disney World In 1988: Hardly anyone makes it to Epcot. Amateurs.

So there ya go! Those were pretty good, I think. Mind you, there’s a lot more where that came from (my brain). Let’s see what I write next; I’m not sure either.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Is A Figment Of Your Imagination

The full trip report is over, but the details still need filling in. Read on for more May 2021 WDW fun!

It happened!!! It finally happened!!!! runDisney has officially announced new, in person races! Including Wine & Dine for this November. I KNEW holding onto my resort reservations was a good idea. Hooray!!!!!!

Now all I have to do is not have a nervous breakdown while wildly grappling for race registrations before they sell out. 😅 But then: celebration!

So much of my year revolves around joyously training and planning for these races; as silly as it sounds, I feel like I just got part of myself back. You know? I have something to work toward again. Something to run about again. Something to make race costumes about again!

How was that segue? Didja like that? ‘Cause, yeah, we’re gonna talk about my new race costume. I’ve been holding back this post out of fear that I would jinx myself, but now I can fly free!

I say “fly” because my new race costume has wings… and horns.. and a dash of childish delight! That’s right, it’s Figment!

Figment race costume

“But wait,” you say, “you already have a Figment race costume. You’ve used it more than once.”

That’s true, but this is the REMIX.

A: New extra-cute Figment ears with wings! (You can get your own pair in many Epcot gift shops but haven’t seen this one on shopDisney, yet anyway.)

Figment race costume

B: New tie-dye purple running pants that will enable me to wear color while hiding sweat! (These are by Joy Lab and no longer made but I’ve seen many pairs on resale sites like Poshmark and Thredup.)

Figment race costumeFigment race costume
C: An orange sports bra! Okay, well, actually, that’s kinda hard to see. I may need to ferret out a running shirt with smaller straps, but then it would all depend on race day weather anyway. It’s a Victoria’s Secret bra I got secondhand but heaven knows they have more.
Figment race costume

I’m super excited about this new, more exuberant, and hopefully more recognizable Figment costume. Here I am being extremely normal about it.

Figment race costumeFigment race costume

I am so so so so happy runDisney is coming back. It’s been a tough year for everybody, and this is just the inspiration we need. If I may be so bold as to make a request from you – if you’re not already vaccinated, PLEASE get the shot. We don’t want the Delta variant ruining everything again. Remember: with F-I-G-M-E-N-T, you can see things differently!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

The Nightmare Before Race Day

Remember last year when Pat bought me Spaceship Earth leggings just in time for my race costume? Well, he’s done it again!

Okay, yes, I haven’t had a runDisney race in… oh, dang, well over a year. No wonder I’m so depressed. But I have to believe they’re going to come back, and when they do, I need to be ready and I need to have race costumes.

Here’s another one: remember my Sally the Ragdoll race costume from WDW Marathon 2020? Because Pat did NOT. (Admittedly he wasn’t there.) But he knows that I love The Nightmare Before Christmas and particularly Sally, and he channeled that into my Christmas present. Behold: Sally/Jack Skellington pants!

(The first pose is meant to be Sally-esque. The second is, y’know, Sally if she were a runner.)

How perfect would that be for the Princess Half Marathon? I know Sally isn’t technically a princess, but I feel like she should still count. She’s a princess in my heart, anyway. 

The funny thing is, I was talking about something runDisney-related (when am I not) and showed Pat my Sally costume from that last marathon about a month before Christmas, after he had already bought the leggings for me. He later told me it was so hard not to give anything away but he was happy extra happy with his gift selection. 😊

I’ve got more runDisney race costumes in the tank – stand by for my new, improved Figment!

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

Happy Friday: How To Make Virtual runDisney More Realistic

I’ve said it many times before: unfortunately, I’m not all that big on virtual races. Whenever a runDisney race has been cancelled of late, I’ve always taken the refund rather than switch to the virtual version. But there are many who disagree with me, including the thousands who performed a virtual WDW Marathon Weekend race (or 2 or 4) last weekend.

One such individual was Justin Stone, who tackled an at-home Dopey Challenge. Not content to simply wear a bib and accept a medal upon the completion of his requisite miles, he decided to make his virtual runDisney experience as true to the real, in-person thing as possible. 

Oh, sure, you say. He probably wore a costume, got his family to make posters, got friends to spectate, that sort of thing. I’ve heard of people doing that.

Okay, but have you heard of people doing all this?

Justin Stone rundisney

Now that is commitment to the runDisney art form. Brilliant! Hilarious! And, frankly, spot on. Can’t say it tempts me to join in, though. 😜

Follow Justin Stone on Twitter just in case he says more funny things.

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Hosts The 2021 Walt Disney World Marathon’s Wake

WDW Marathon start

I hope you enjoyed my light complaining earlier this week, because today we’re going to do some heavy complaining: I should be in Walt Disney World right now. 🙁 🙁 🙁

I should be picking up my race bib! I should be planning out my pre-race meal! I should be there for the Walt Disney World Marathon!

But I’m not. My love is cancelled. We all know that. And I know, too, that compared to other tragedies COVID has wrought, the cancellation of a race is hardly at the top of the list. But it’s been my absolute favorite part of every year six years in a row now, and I am not going to lie: I AM SO INCREDIBLY BUMMED. 

My greatest feelings of joy occur in those marathons. If I’m lucky it kicks in as soon as I hit the Studios and I can ride it all the way down the Boardwalk and into the World Showcase. The World Showcase itself is a 100% happiness guarantee. What will I do without it?!

This is where photos and trip reports come to the rescue: while I can’t get the 2021 race back, and I can relive 2015 through 2020. Below you’ll find links to all my race recaps (my favorites are ’18 and ’20), plus a selection of some of my favorite photos from those races past. Get ready, 2022 – we’re all coming for you with a vengeance!

Walt Disney World Marathon race recaps: 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

WDW Marathon
WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

WDW Marathon

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Shares Her Rarest Character Race Photos

Pat and I were talking the other day about how we hope we can ride Splash Mountain one more time before the refurb starts. Now, I have gone on record as being 100% on board with the overhaul. But still, a final ride-through to say goodbye would be nice.

That got me thinking – once, a long time ago, during the 2016 WDW Marathon, I got a photo with Brer Fox and Brer Bear. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen either character, in the parks or as part of a runDisney event. Perhaps they’ll appear one more time in some sort of goodbye ceremony or what hae you, but I doubt I’ll ever see them again.

Brer Fox Brer Bear on race course
And such a quality photo, too!

And that in turn lead me to ponder what other rare characters I’ve caught on the WDW race course. “Rare” can be hard to quantify, of course, depending on Halloween and Christmas parties and how many runDisney races you do a year and what have you, but here are some of the characters I know I’ve only seen that one time:

Friar Tuck on race course
Friar Tuck, WDW Marathon 2015

Villains on race course
Frollo, Evil Queen, and Jafar, WDW Marathon 2019

Evil Queen as Witch, WDW Marathon 2016

Dang, 2016 was really the year, wasn’t it?

Ah, memories. I can’t wait until this stupid pandemic is over and we can all safely go back to running Disney!

Do you have any rare Disney character photos, on course or off? Who’d you catch?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Mourns More Lost runDisney Races

Annnnnnnnnnd there it is.

I was just about to sit down and type up a cute little post about my latest Disney dress, but NO – the universe had to go ahead and hit me where it hurts.

As you are more than likely aware, both Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend and Princess Half Marathon Weekend are cancelled. To quote myself expressing my feelings on the matter:

Blarg. Blarg, I say!!!

I know, I know. It’s not the end of the world. But boy am I bummed all the same. The WDW Marathon is my favorite day of the ENTIRE YEAR. Hell, I would cite the 2018 version as the happiest day of my life so far. Losing it is a blow to my life force.

Ah, well. If they feel they have to cancel, that’s how it is. I’m sure runDisney did not make the decision lightly or happily. I am a little surprised they took out Princess at the same time, but I suppose the two races are indeed quite close together. I suppose it’s gonna save me some money, anyway.

Which is to say: I will definitely be requesting a refund. A) The prices for the virtual versions are exorbitant and B) I’m just not much of a virtual race girl. I value medals as physical reminders of a beloved experience, but medals for the sake of medals don’t do much for me. If they do for you, good! You find joy in many things and are doubtless an overall happier person than I am. But a virtual version isn’t gonna fly for me.

The only question in my mind at present is what to do as regards the WDW trips I had planned around those races. Should I go anyway? My first instinct is to say no – I’d rather reallocate those funds to trips that do include races. 

But on the other hand, I kept my Annual Pass because of those trips. If I don’t go on them, the pass’s value is significantly diminished. I could call Disney and see if they’d let me cancel my pass now even though the deadline is passed on the strength of this setback, but I doubt it’d get me that far.

Both of those trips also involve people who were suppose to share my room, so I’ll have to talk it over with them too.

Things to ponder.

Thank God I opted for my 2020 runDisney race registration strategy. I’m still holding out hope for Rivals weekend – and I’ll be ALL OVER Wine & Dine registration when it opens.

2020 really is the worst.

Are you also bummed? Or are you bummed too, also?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

A Brief Rundown Of runDisney’s 2021 Proof Of Time Cutoffs

Someone asked me the other day to remind them of the Proof of Time cutoff for WDW Marathon Weekend. Not remembering off the top of my head, I hit Google, where I discovered plenty of information on Proof of Time cutoffs in the abstract sense but nothing about the exact dates for 2021 runDisney races.

This does make sense in that these dates are rolling each year in relation to the precise date of the race. But I thought in the present moment it might be helpful if someone collected 2021’s cutoffs all in one place so that you don’t necessarily have to go through each individual registration to check. And that someone is me!

2021 WDW Marathon Weekend: “Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by October 20, 2020. Only races run between July 1, 2018 and October 20, 2020 can be used as proof.”

2021 Princess Weekend: “Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by November 17, 2020. Only races run between August 1, 2018 and November 17, 2020 can be used as proof.”

2021 Star Wars Rival Run Weekend: “Proof of Time can be submitted and/or updated by January 19, 2021. Only races run between October 1, 2018 and January 19, 2021 can be used as proof.”

Wine & Dine 2021 is pending; registration will probably open early-ish next year. All above information was collected directly from the runDisney website but is of course subject to change per their mighty whims.

You’re welcome.

One last thing – if, like me, you find your 2020 race schedule has been largely COVID-cancelled out, you may find your quest for the perfect POT before the deadline to be an increasingly deflated one. I am trying to remind myself that runDisney is about the experience more than being in the speediest corral and if ya gotta weave a little, well, ya gotta weave a little. It’s KIND OF working… 

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Has A New Hope

Whew, it’s stressful out there in runDisney registration land lately!

Yesterday I jumped into the Annual Passholder presale virtual queue for next year’s Star Wars Rivals Half Marathon (take two). I won’t leave you in suspense: I made it! I’m registered! Hooray!
But holy guacamole, getting in was anxiety-inducing. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that the order to get through to the purchase page is randomized, I bounced into line as soon as it showed up around 9:50am. A couple minutes later, just to be safe, I fired up my phone too. 
And then I watched the little waiting room spinner go round and round and round and round and…
I don’t know if runDisney is still limiting the number of bibs released to allow for social distancing if needed, but as each minute ticked by I got more and more nervous. I’d say my phone probably got through around 10:14am, and I was v. relieved to see that not only was the half still available, only the challenge by itself was sold out.
I FLEW through the registration process and a couple minutes later I was the relieved recipient of a confirmation email. (I can’t remember if I’ve already mentioned this tip, but: as you know, if you don’t move fast enough, a race could literally sell out while you’re putting in your credit card info. One way to speed up the process is to skip putting in your proof of time and making any decisions about merchandise add-ons. After you’ve registered, you can go back into your account and edit those things at your leisure.)
Out of curiosity, I let my computer continue to run the virtual queue screen, just to see how long it would take to get in. It finally came to the registration screen at 10:22am, 8 minutes later. If I hadn’t also busted out my phone… it would’ve been fine. The half was still available. In fact, it was the same setup as before – everything but the bare challenge.
I checked back later around 10:35am and the only additional things that had sold out at that point were the half+virtual and challenge+virtual. And then I kinda got distracted so I can’t give you very precise timestamps after that, but I can tell you by 11:20am everything was gone but the 5K, oddly enough.
So yeah. The challenge is a, um, challenge to get through to fast enough, but it seems like most of the other races don’t require the level of nerves I historically apply to the process. But I guess each registration day is different.
If you’re gunning for public signups on Tuesday, I say to you: qapla’! 
… 
….what? 
Worf
No, seriously, what?
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!

In Which Jenn Is A Princess

Alrighty, let’s dive back in.

I’M A PRINCESS, EVERYBODY!
Yes, for the first time since my very first half marathon and runDisney event in 2013, I’m running the Princess Half Marathon. I outlined my thought process in this post, but basically I’m so afraid of 2021 race FOMO I’m willing to throw caution (and money) to the wind in order to mentally insure myself against potential cancellations. 
As I’ve said as recently as the last paragraph, I haven’t run the Princess Half since its 5th anniversary in 2013, so I’m woefully out of the loop as to what to expect. I’m pretty sure the course hasn’t changed, and I hear the expo is still a bit nuts, but I’m excited to see what princess characters are out and about. What else should I be looking forward to?
Incidentally, this was the first time I wound up in a virtual race registration queue in like two years. I did not like it. You guys going for challenge bibs and 10Ks and all that really popular stuff have nerves of steel.
Good luck to all those gunning for a bib when they drop to the public on Tuesday – fight for your own hand!
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughtsSee ya real soon!